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2011 Ford C-Max seven-seater – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Ford announced its new seven-seat Grand C-Max last fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it also revealed that the new model would be coming to North America for the first time. In conjunction with the announcement today that Ford's plant in Valencia, Spain would produce hybrid versions of the five-seat C-Max, Ford also announced that the same plant would be exporting the seven-seater to America late next year.

The larger C-Max is based off of Ford's new c-segment platform shared with the Focus and is similar in size to the Mazda5. This marks Ford's return to the sliding door van market that was abandoned when the Freestar was discontinued in 2006. Ford hasn't said what powerplant will go into the C-Max for export, but we would bet on the same 2.0-liter direct injected four that will power the new Focus with an optional 2.0-liter Ecoboost. Now that General Motors has decided not to sell the Chevrolet Orlando in the U.S., Ford and Mazda are currently the only entrants in this small minivan segment, with vehicles like the conventionally doored Kia Rondo lurking on the fridges.

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[Source: Ford]
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New Ford C-MAX and new Ford Grand C-MAX 2010

* Ford's Valencia Plant in Spain will build the company's first hybrid vehicles for European customers
* Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) derivatives of the all-new Ford C-MAX to launch in Europe in 2013
* Total investment in the C-MAX program is almost $410 million (over €300 million), of which up to $36 million (around €27 million) is for the HEV and PHEV programmes
* The Spanish government and the Valencia regional administration will provide the highest grant assistance for the C-MAX PHEV and HEV programmes in line with European Union requirements
* The HEV and PHEV C-MAX models are part of Ford's global electrified vehicle plan under which five Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Hybrid models will be introduced for European customers by 2013
* Ford's Valencia Plant also to build the seven-seat version of the C-MAX for export to North America beginning in late 2011

VALENCIA, Spain, May 10, 2010 – Ford's Valencia plant in Spain will build the company's first hybrid models for European customers with two advanced technology derivatives of the all-new five-seat Ford C-MAX compact multi-activity model to be launched in 2013 – a full Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), and a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

Valencia was confirmed in 2009 as the European single source for all versions of the
all-new Ford C-MAX and Grand C-MAX which launch later this year, and which feature a range of highly efficient new Ford EcoBoost petrol and Duratorq TDCi diesel engines.

As part of the company's global sourcing strategy, the Valencia Plant also will produce the seven-seat version of the C-MAX for export to North America beginning in late 2011.

"The Hybrid Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Electric derivatives of the all-new Ford
C-MAX are great news for the Valencia plant and region, for Spain, and for Ford customers across Europe. These new advanced technology models are key to Ford's commitment to delivering a portfolio of alternative powertrain vehicles globally and to European customers in the next few years," said John Fleming, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe and executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Labour Affairs.

John Fleming was speaking at a ceremony to mark the HEV and PHEV C-MAX announcement in the city of Valencia. He was joined by Spain's Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Señor Miguel Sebastián Gascón, and by Señor Francisco Camps Ortiz, President of the Generalitat Velenciana, the Valencia regional administration.

"Our Valencia Plant here in Spain will build these new C-MAX five-seat hybrid models exclusively for European customers seeking a practical, efficient and affordable environmental vehicle, while the export to North America of the new Grand C-MAX petrol model beginning in late 2011 opens a new era of production for the team at the plant," Fleming added.

Investing in Valencia
Total investment in the new Ford C-MAX programme in Spain over the next three years, including the hybrid models, is almost $410 million (over €300 million). Investment in the hybrid programmes is expected to be up to $36 million (around €27 million). The Spanish government and Valencia regional administration are providing the highest grant support in line with European Union requirements. The exact amount of this support will be determined at a later date.

"I want to thank the Spanish government and the Valencia regional administration for their outstanding assistance in supporting the C-MAX programme in Spain and, in particular, for helping to turn our hybrid vehicles plan into reality. Their support means that customers in Spain and around Europe will soon be driving the all-new C-MAX later in 2010, and from 2013 will be able to choose from Ford's first hybrid models to be launched in this region of the world," said Fleming.

The programme supports the Spanish government and Valencia regional administration's goal of establishing Spain and the Valencia region as important centres for advanced research and development in environmental engineering.

A Choice of Hybrids
Ford Motor Company has significant experience with hybrid vehicles in North America, and will now extend this expertise to Europe as part of the company's aggressive global electrified vehicles strategy.

The reason for building both full Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle versions of the five-seat Ford C-MAX is to provide customers with greater choice to suit their specific driving and living environments.

Full HEVs charge their electric batteries through the use of the small displacement internal combustion engine along with energy recapture through the regenerative brake system, whereas PHEVs have the ability to also recharge their electric batteries through an external source, such as a conventional electric power socket.

"The extra benefit of being able to additionally recharge your batteries at home or other parking location means that PHEVs might better suit those customers who do the majority of their driving in city and other urban environments where electric battery power is the preferred powertrain alternative," commented Fleming.

Ford's Electrification Commitment
Today's announcement forms part of Ford's commitment to extend its global electrified vehicles strategy and introduce five Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Hybrid models in Europe by 2013. The C-MAX HEV and PHEV models will join the full battery-electric Ford Transit Connect, already announced for 2011, and a battery-electric derivative of the next-generation Ford Focus, due in 2012. The fifth vehicle will also be a hybrid-electric model and will be announced at a later time.

"Ford is a leader today in Europe when it comes to offering customers efficient and affordable environmental technologies, such as our ECOnetic range of ultra-low CO2 diesel-powered vehicles and our new EcoBoost advanced petrol engine range.

"The five alternative powertrains we will introduce by 2013 – including the new HEV and PHEV C-MAX models we are confirming today – strengthen our ongoing commitment to providing customers with access to significant fuel economy improvements and reduced CO2 emissions to meet their functional needs and without compromising their driving experience," said Fleming.

Ford's Global C-Car Strategy and the All-New Ford C-MAX
The new five-seat Ford C-MAX and seven-seat Grand C-MAX models are the first of at least ten new models or derivatives that the company will launch around the world based on its new global C-segment platform – Ford's first truly ONE Ford platform.

Ford's new generation of C-segment vehicles will be sold in more than 120 markets and will account for more than two million units annually. The C-segment accounts for one-in-four cars sold worldwide today and, in conjunction with the B-segment, is expected to rise to 50 per cent of all cars sold globally by 2013.

With the new C-MAX family of models, Ford's C-segment MAV customers will now have a choice of two alternative and distinctive models – the sporty five-seat C-MAX or the spacious seven-seat Grand C-MAX, which features twin sliding doors and innovative seat design for outstanding space and flexibility.

This all-new Ford C-MAX range also introduces a number of advanced new technologies to the compact MAV class. More often found only on larger or more premium cars, these technologies are focused on enhanced comfort, safety and sustainability, including the availability of new and powerful yet highly fuel-efficient low-CO2 Ford EcoBoost petrol engines.

The previous C-MAX model quickly established a reputation for providing a fine balance of enjoyable driving dynamics and impressive comfort. The all-new model is set to take that performance to a new level, giving drivers a class-leading combination of responsive, sporty handling, and overall refinement approaching the standards usually associated with larger, luxury vehicles.

The new C-MAX and Grand C-MAX models go on sale across Europe during the second half of 2010, while the seven-seat version of the C-MAX model for North America will go into production in Valencia in late 2011.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not in a 3rd world country? Every heard of Mexico, where many Fords are built for the US market?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can only think of two vehicles that Ford sells in the US that are made in Mexico. The new Fiesta, and the Fusion (and its siblings).
        • 5 Years Ago
        What does it matter if its Spain or Mexico? Is Spain a part of the US? No they are both foreign countries. Building it in Spain is even worse than in Mexico because Spain is so far away and shipping expenses are much greater, which will be passed onto the American consumers, who THINKS they are buying an American car when they are NOT.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Read his comment: He said "at least its not in China or some random third world country."

        ...Reffering to this car. Which according to this post, says it's not built in Mexico. Get it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, both are foreign countries and shipping cost is less than building second factory for the same car while the first one can do the job.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would make for a nice Mercury.
      • 5 Years Ago
      YES! YES! YES! Bring it on!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would bet this is only a short term plan if this proves to be a success. If it does well I would not be the least bit surprised to see this built at the Wayne Assembly Plant in Michigan alongside the new Focus. This is a cheap and easy way to assure quality for both the C-Max and new Focus because launching two new models from one plant would be very difficult.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great, just in time for GM not to introduce its seven passenger competitor.
      Great work GM!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Too bad they couldn't have just imported the fiesta. I'm not talking about the NA Made in Mexico version.
        • 5 Years Ago
        From what I've seen, the production US Fiesta is not as nice as the imported ones used for the Fiesta Movement program. Different wheels, brakes, the interior isn't as much.

        And yes, I have seen both cars in person.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Huh? You do realize that our Fiesta is pretty much the same with just a tweaked front end, right?

        Having seen both on a regular basis, I'm glad Ford ditched the overdone round foglights....
        • 5 Years Ago
        "fixitfixitstop"... have you seen a new Fiesta in person yet? I have, just his morning. I'm a Ford salesman and our zone trainer came by to demo the Fiesta sedan.
        It's pretty impressive for B-Class car, with lots of appointments you won't find in the competition... and things that you'd find in higher end cars.
        Fit and finish is great! the one we saw today was an SES loaded. Nice quality leather trimmed with contrasting piping. Premium sound. LED marker lights up front.
        As far as wheels and brakes go... not sure what you've seen before that isn't on the car now. if you were thinking about the 17's with low profiles, Ford ditched that wheel/tire combo because the ride feel suffered, and it wasn't the quality ride Ford was looking for. So all you'll see is a max 16" wheel, and drums in the rear. It's a B-Class car and B-Class buyers are cost conscience. Drums are less expensive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The car looks very nice, I think introducing it to the U.S is a smart move for Ford.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What's wrong with bringing it over with a diesel option?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably the same as the problem Ford had with selling the original Focus in NA with the TDCi unit - re-engineering it to meet EPA approval and the comparatively small demand for diesel passenger cars in the States.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This time it may be easier - Ford has it's own clean diesels, If VW succeed with their TDI they should't have problems.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...with vehicles like the ... Kia Rondo lurking on the fridges."

      Let's keeps those Rondos out of the kitchen and on the fringes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Made in Europe for export to the US? Obviously even Ford considers this a niche item.

      It'll be great to see what happens with this car in the US. I'd love to see the C-segment 3 row market open up, but it's far from certain it will happen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the MPG is high enough I'm sure people who own or are shopping for a Mini-van will be swayed to buy it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not. Companies don't even offer high mpg (4-banger) Minivans in the US anymore. It's unclear to me that mpg is any kind of factor in the decision making of US minivan buyers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "lurking on the fridges?" is the editing on this blog outsourced to China?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kia is "lurking in the fridges."

      LMAO ....

      Thanks... I really needed that.
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